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Amid Spying Scandal, HP Sponsors Privacy Award

September 22, 2006|From the Associated Press

Insert your own punch line: Hewlett-Packard Co., the Palo Alto-based technology company facing federal and state investigations over spying on board members and journalists, is cosponsor of an award for "privacy innovation."

Nominees are being accepted for the fourth annual HP/IAPP Privacy Innovation Award, which Hewlett-Packard gives in conjunction with the Maine-based International Assn. of Privacy Professionals.

According to the award's website, the prize was created to honor "strong and unique contributions to the privacy industry."

"At present, there is not sufficient recognition for organizations that have embraced privacy as a competitive advantage, and as a business/governmental imperative," the site says.

Previous winners of the award have included EBay Inc., Microsoft Corp., Sprint Nextel Corp. and two Canadian provincial offices. No one from HP is a judge.

Two IAPP directors did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday, nor did an HP spokesman.

HP is facing multiple investigations into the company's surveillance of directors, employees and journalists as it sought the source of boardroom leaks to the media. HP investigators posed as other people to obtain their phone records and sent monitoring spyware by e-mail to at least one reporter.

An HP director quit in protest of the methods and another resigned after being accused of leaking information. Questions about HP's methods led board Chairwoman Patricia C. Dunn to agree to cede her post in January, although she plans to remain a director.

One place to read about all this is none other the Privacy Innovation Award's website. It contains a long list of privacy-related stories in the news, including the HP affair.

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